California State Senator is facing public corruption charges

When a corruption scandal breaks, it can be difficult for the public to keep in mind that all persons are considered innocent until proven guilty. Especially when an elected official is brought up on charges of public corruption, the public's instinct can be to judge first and wait for actual evidence to be properly brought forward only after the affected individual is already condemned in their minds.

Most recently, California State Senator Ron Calderon was charged with the federal crime of accepting bribes in exchange for pushing certain legislation forward. In all, Calderon is accused of accepting $100,000 in related bribes. Many members of both the media and the public have expressed outrage over the scandal. And while true corruption is a reason for outrage, it is important for everyone to remember that Calderon has not been proven guilty, only charged with alleged offenses.

Last month, Calderon pled not guilty to 24 counts of money laundering, conspiracy, fraud and aiding the submission of false tax returns. These are unquestionably serious charges. According to ABC News, if Calderon is convicted of all 24 counts, he could face up to 400 years in prison. And perhaps especially because the charges against Calderon and in other public corruption cases are so grave, those accused of such behavior deserve the public and the justice system’s benefit of the doubt if and until these individuals are proven guilty.

Calderon’s trial is unlikely to face a jury for several months. Until that time, it is important for all Californians to refrain from judging Calderon too completely, given that he has yet to have his day in court.

Source: ABC News, “California Senator Pleads Not Guilty to Corruption,” Linda Deutsch, Feb 24, 2014

Share Button

Comments are closed.